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Wrongful Discharge - In General

     Three ex-fire chiefs appealed grants of summary judgment on their due process claims challenging their terminations. A federal appeals court held that all of the plaintiffs were at-will employees under Missouri state law who had no property interest in their continued employment, and they were therefore terminable at will. There was no stigma attached to their terminations sufficient to deprive them of a liberty interest. Additionally, their individual capacity claims against certain defendants alleged no constitutional deprivation. Crews v. Monarch Fire Protection Dist., #13-3070, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 21792 (8th Cir.).
     Claims for wrongful termination and defamation filed by five former part-time and seasonal village police officers against the county defendants, who did not employ or supervise them, were frivolous from the beginning, requiring the county defendants to litigate continuously at taxpayer expense for years. Accordingly, the trial court's award of $63,990 in attorneys' fees and costs to the prevailing county defendants was within its discretion. Carter v. Incorporated Village of Ocean Beach, #13-815, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 13865 (2nd Cir.).
     A nurse who had worked as an independent contractor for California's correctional department sued over her termination without explanation and her inability to find other work within the department because of negative job references. The federal appeals court ruled that the department had not created any constitutionally protected interests in continued employment by merely setting performance review procedures in place. There was no affirmative grant of tenure to the plaintiff or any assurance of future employment. Any liberty interest, further, would have been in her profession as a nurse not a placement with a particular employer. Blantz v. Cal. Dep't of Corr. & Rehab., #11-56525, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 16940, 36 I.E.R. Cas. (BNA) 671 (9th Cir.).
     A woman who was fired from her independent contractor position as a nurse sued correctional officials after she was unable to find other work with the correctional system because of negative job references. A federal appeals court ruled that the simple fact that the agency had instituted performance review procedures for independent contractors did not create any constitutionally protected property interests for such contractors, Even if there had been a constitutionally protected interest in an independent contractor's job, the plaintiff would have to show a guarantee of employment by the government or an affirmative grant of tenure, neither of which occurred here. Blantz v. Cal. Dep't of Corr. & Rehab., #11-56525, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 16940 (9th Cir.).
     A former federal probation officer sued the U.S. government, claiming that he was improperly fired. The reason given for his termination was that he was negligent in the supervision of a convicted defendant who was killed while on release pending sentencing. The Court of Federal Claims' dismissal of the lawsuit for lack of jurisdiction was upheld by a federal appeals court on the basis that the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA) applied to classify the plaintiff as a member of the "excepted service," barring him from pursuing such a lawsuit. The law applies to all branches of the federal government, not just to employees of the Executive branch, as the plaintiff argued. It applied to him as an employee of the Judicial branch. Semper v. U.S., #12-5003, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 18880 (Fed. Cir.).
     Just before a Naval Criminal Investigative Service employee was to be transferred from California to Washington, D.C., she submitted a questionnaire to serve on a California state grand jury, and was chosen to serve for a year. The Navy allowed her to serve and paid her salary under a federal statute, 5 U.S.C. Sec. 6322(a). It instructed her, however, not to reapply for another term on the grand jury. She did, however, and was appointed to serve for a second one-year term. The Navy then placed her on AWOL status and withheld her pay, subsequently terminating her. A federal appeals court held that the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (CFC) erred in rejecting her claims for back pay on the basis that she had not been "summoned" for grand jury duty for the second year but sought it voluntarily. The CFC did not, however, have jurisdiction to hear her wrongful termination claim. Hall v. U.S., #2011-5119, 677 F.3d 1340 (Fed. Cir. 2012).
      An assistant sheriff was entitled to an award of back pay for the period of time between his summary firing for alleged disloyalty and his subsequent no contest pleas to two state felony charges (for misappropriation of public resources and perjury before a grand jury), which made it impossible for him to continue to be employed as a law enforcement officer. Firing him without any kind of hearing violated his rights under California's Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act (POBRA), Government Code, § 3300 et seq., and purported waivers of POBRA rights that he purportedly signed on two occasions did not alter the result. Jaramillo v. County of Orange, #G043142, 2011 Cal. App. Lexis 1397 (Cal. App.).
    Police officers who worked for a Nebraska city of under 10,000 population that was annexed by Omaha did not become City of Omaha employees and had no rights to continued employment. The operative bargaining agreement of the terminated officers was the one with their former employer, not Omaha. Barnes v. City of Omaha, #07-3942, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 16922 (8th Cir.).
     City could not defeat a wrongful termination suit because the plaintiff, a former police chief, applied for retirement benefits. He sought retirement benefits only because the city left him with no alternative, as he had no other income and his family needed health insurance coverage. State ex rel. McClaran v. City of Ontario, #2007-2100, 119 Ohio St.3d 105, 2008-Ohio-3867, 2008 Ohio Lexis 1998.        Rejecting a "class of one" in an equal protection lawsuit, the Supreme Court holds that while government employees do not lose their constitutional rights when they go to work, those rights must be balanced against the realities of the employment context. Government offices could not function if every employment decision became a constitutional matter. If class-of-one claims were recognized in the employment context, any personnel action in which a wronged employee can conjure up a claim of differential treatment would suddenly become the basis for a federal constitutional claim. Engquist v. Oregon Dept. of Agriculture, #07-474, 2008 U.S. Lexis 4705.
     Fifth Circuit affirms a holding that denied qualified immunity to a police chief that fired a detective who refused to waive her Miranda rights as part of a polygraph exam. Termination for invoking one's constitutional rights violated clearly established federal law. Hancock v. Baker, #07-40794, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 1847 (5th Cir.).
     Illinois police chief did not have a constitutionally-protected property interest to continued employment, and may not claim breach of contract in a 42 U.S. Code 1983 action. Miyler v. Village of East Galesburg, #06-3625, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 329 (7th Cir.).
     Plaintiffs had no property interest in temporary or durational positions as correctional officers. Pina v. Lantz, #3:04CV1574, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 48837 (D. Conn.).
     Massachusetts appellate court concludes that it was lawful for a town to fire an at-will animal-control officer after she requested enrollment in the town's health insurance plan. "Mere eligibility for the insurance does not in any way protect the employment status of a town employee." Parker v. Town of North Brookfield, #06-P-167, 68 Mass. App. Ct. 235, 861 N.E.2d 770, 25 IER Cases (BNA) 1283, 2007 Mass. App. Lexis 157.
     Federal appeals court applies legislative immunity in a wrongful discharge case where council members voted to eliminate certain jobs. Almonte v. City of Long Beach, #06-2010, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 3244 (2nd Cir. 2007).
     Albuquerque jury awards a former security analyst $4 million in punitive and $387,536 in compensatory damages. The plaintiff was fired for cooperating with federal authorities that were investigating Chinese cyber intelligence efforts in Operation Titan Rain. Carpenter v. Sandia Natl. Laboratories, #D-202-CV-200506347, Bernalillo Co. NM Dist. Court (verdict 2/13/2007).
     A sheriff's failure to re-employ an officer after criminal charges against her were withdrawn is not so outrageous in character, or so extreme in degree as would support a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress. Benard v. Washington Co., #06-527, 2006 U.S. Dist. Lexis 80188 (W.D. Pa.). {N/R}
     Former Chief of Police could sue for wrongful termination because the city charter created a constitutionally-protected property interest. Bolton v. City of Dallas, Texas, # 05-11141, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 30083 (5th Cir. 2006). {N/R}
     Private employee wins federal lawsuit for wrongful termination after sending her boss a written complaint that her retirement plan was not being properly funded. The letter was a protected activity under ERISA. Simons v. Midwest Telephone, #05-1120, 2006 U.S. Dist. Lexis 82424; prior ruling at 433 F. Supp. 2d 1007 (D. Minn. 2006). {N/R}
     A disabled county nurse was not dismissed within the meaning of California Government Code 31725 when management informed her there were no positions available that would accommodate her work restrictions, offered her vocational rehabilitation, and then placed her on unpaid injury leave. Kelly v. County of Los Angeles, #B176552, 2006 Cal. App. Lexis 1151 (2d Dist. 2006). {N/R}
     Federal court dismisses a $5 million wrongful termination suit brought by the former Dallas police chief. The plaintiff lacked a legally enforceable property right to continued employment. Bolton v. City of Dallas, #3:04-CV-0501, 2005 U.S. Dist. Lexis 20543 (N.D. Tex. 2005). [2005 FP Dec]
     California Supreme Court upholds a retaliation claim where an employee refused to follow a supervisor's order that she reasonably believed to be discriminatory. The employee is protected even if he or she "does not explicitly state to her supervisor or employer that she believes the order to be discriminatory." Yanowitz v. L'Oreal, #S115154, 36 Cal.4th 1028, 2005 Cal. Lexis 8594 (2005). {N/R}
     An unpaid municipal volunteer is not an employee for purposes of bringing a wrongful termination actions. Mendoza v. Town of Ross, No. A103878, 128 Cal.App.4th 625, 27 Cal.Rptr.3d 452, 16 AD Cases (BNA) 1215, 2005 Cal. App. Lexis 612 (1st Dist. 2005). {N/R}
     Federal appeals court declines to dismiss a civil rights suit filed by an officer against the Board of Police Commissioners. It was clearly established that manufacturing evidence and conspiring to wrongfully prosecute the plaintiff would amount to a substantive due process violation. Moran v. Clarke, #03-2055, 359 F.3d 1058, 2004 U.S. App. Lexis 3628 (8th Cir. 2004). {N/R}
     Federal appeals court affirms the dismissal of a §1983 wrongful discharge and retaliation lawsuit. There was insufficient evidence of retaliation. Rosenfeld v. Egy, 03-1320, 2003 U.S. App. Lexis 20124 (1st Cir. 2003). {N/R}
     Maryland holds that an employee's request to consult an attorney before signing an acknowledgment of an unfavorable evaluation was not protected conduct. The right of access to legal counsel in Maryland is not a mandate of public policy to support a wrongful discharge lawsuit. Porterfield v. Mascari II Inc., #14 Sept. Term 2002, 823 A.2d 590, 2003 Md. Lexis 245, 19 IER Cases (BNA) 1697 (Md. 2003). [2003 FP Sep]
     Federal appeals court affirms $1.25 million in compensatory and $110,000 in punitive damages awarded to a former NYPD officer for harassment, retaliation, a forced resignation and the intentional infliction of emotional distress. Gonzalez v. Bratton, #01-7826, 2002 U.S. App. Lexis 21521 (2nd Cir. 2002). [2003 FP Jan]
     Former police officer could sue for retaliatory discharge; he was terminated after he filed a worker's comp. claim. Hidalgo County v. Parker, #13-01-835-CV, 83 S.W.3d 362, 2002 Tex. App. Lexis 5633, 18 IER Cases (BNA) 1674 (Tex. Civ. App. 2002). {N/R}
     Texas appeals court dismisses a suit by an ex-deputy sheriff who alleged that he was fired because he refused to commit perjury; the Texas legislature did not waive the sovereign immunity of counties for wrongful termination suits. Salazar v. Lopez, #04-02-00115-CV, 2002 Tex. App. Lexis 5697 (Tex. App. 2002). {N/R}
     Where a civil service commission is the final policy maker on personnel matters in the sheriff's office, the county is not a proper party defendant in a damage suit alleging wrongful termination. Crockett v. Shields, #99-35687, 2001 U.S. App. Lexis 2613 (9th Cir. 2001); cert. den. #01-743, 2002 U.S. Lexis 661 (2002). [N/R]
     An terminated public employee must utilize existing procedures and remedies before filing a lawsuit for reinstatement. Grant v. Anchorage Police Dept., #S-8844, 20 P.3d 553, 2001 Alas. Lexis 28. [2001 FP 79]
     At-will government employee could not be fired for refusing to make a false sexual harassment complaint against a coworker. Thorson v. Oregon, #A106804, 15 P.3d 1005, 171 Ore. App. 704, 2000 Ore. App. Lexis 2139. [2001 FP 30]
     Federal court allows after-acquired evidence that a former police officer engaged in wrongdoing when he failed to notify police department that witness had lied and that this failure would have resulted in his rightful termination had it been discovered. Johnson v. City of Elgin, 2001 U.S. Dist. Lexis 2109, 85 FEP Cases (BNA) 281 (Unpub. N.D. Ill.); subseq. decis. at 2001 U.S. Dist. Lexis 15836 (Oct. 2001). {N/R}
     California appeals court upholds wrongful termination verdict of an untenured employee who was fired for hiring a lawyer to bring a claim against her employer. Gelini v. Tishgart, #A082565, 91 Cal.Rptr.2d 447, 1999 Cal. App. Lexis 1123, 81 FEP Cases (BNA) 1477 (1st Dist.). [2000 FP 46]
     The discharge of an employee for refusing to falsify resumes submitted on a bid is an exception to at-will employment doctrine. The conduct would have been illegal. Anderson v. ITT, 92 F.Supp.2d 516, 2000 U.S. Dist. Lexis 5312, 16 IER Cases (BNA) 494 (E.D. Va. 2000). {N/R}
     Supreme Court allows an untenured employee to sue his superiors, claiming that he was fired for testifying before a grand jury. Haddle v. Garrison, 1998 U.S. Lexis 8081, 525 U.S. 121, 119 S.Ct. 489. [1999 FP 14]
     Individual managers and supervisors cannot be held civilly liable for wrongful termination under the California Fair Empl. & Hous. Act or at common law. Reno v. Baird, 18 Cal.4th 640 (1998). {N/R}
     Texas appellate court affirms award of $100,000 actual and $1 million in punitive damages against city that terminated employee for filing a worker's compensation claim. Porte (City of) v. Prince, 851 S.W.2d 876 (Tex.App. 1993). [1994 FP 30]
     A California employer or client has an unfettered, absolute right to discharge an attorney at any time for any reason; see Fracasse v. Brent, 100 Cal.Rptr. 385 (1972). However, if an attorney (or other employee) is terminated because of his adherence to a mandatory professional duty or his refusal to violate the law or breach a rule of ethics, public policy considerations provide an exception to the general rule, and the attorney may sue for wrongful termination. General Dynamics Corp. v. Superior Court (Rose), 7 Cal.4th 1164, 876 P.2d 487, 9 IER Cases (BNA) 1089 (1994). {N/R}
     Federal appeals court reverses backpay awarded to a victim of sex discrimination. Later discovered evidence of a falsified application voided her otherwise valid claim of wrongful termination. Milligan-Jensen v. Michigan Tech. Univ., 975 F.2d 302 (6th Cir. 1992). [1993 FP 77-8]
     Former Florida police chief settles a wrongful discharge and defamation claim for substantial damages and a new position with the city. Curtsinger (Claim of) v. City of St. Petersburg, 36 ATLA L.Rptr. 132 (1992). [1993 FP 94-5]
     Lawful termination of employee became tortious because of the manner in which he was treated. Appellate court sustains a $90,000 punitive award. Ueblacker v. Cincom Systems, 8 IER Cases (BNA) 1005 (Ohio App. 1993). [1993 FP 141-2]
     Having a security guard escort a terminated employee to her car did not constitute "outrageous conduct." Wornick v. Casas, 856 S.W.2d 732, 8 IER Cases (BNA) 1058 (Tex. 1993). {N/R}
     After acquired evidence: suit for discriminatory discharged dismissed because plaintiff concealed a theft conviction. Redd v. Fisher, 62 FEP Cases (BNA) 465 (W.D.Tex. 1993). [1993 FP 142]
     Federal appeals court upholds $120,000 in punitive damages assessed against police chief and key subordinates, plus backpay and legal fees awarded former St. Louis County MO officers who proved their resignations were coerced. Angarita v. St. Louis Co., 981 F.2d 1537 (8th Cir. 1992). [1993 FP 126-7]
     Colorado Supreme Court upholds wrongful termination suit of employee who was discharged for refusing to obey a directive he reasonably believed was unlawful. Martin Marietta Corp. v. Lorenz, 60 LW (BNA) 2473 (Colo. 1992). See also Petermann v. Teamsters L. 394, 344 P.2d 25 (Cal.App. 1959); Adler v. American Standard Corp., 538 F.Supp. 572 (D.Md. 1982). [1992 FP 61]
     Texas jury awards $13.5 million to state employee who was terminated for exposing fraud to state representative. Green v. Texas Dept. of Human Services, Travis Co. Dist. Ct. #480,701; 29 (1434) G.E.R.R. (BNA) 1293 (9/23/91).
     Maryland police chief is awarded damages against former officer who had accused him of discrimination, wrongful discharge battery. Travers v. Dunnock, Dorchester Co. Dist. Ct. (6/12/91).
     California appellate court interprets 1988 decision and allows punitive damages for the intentional infliction of emotional distress in wrongful discharge cases. Lanouette v. Ciba-Geigy Corp., 5 IER Cases (BNA) 993 (Cal.App. 1990).
     U.S. Appeals Court holds that discharged public employees may not recover for mental distress, absent corroborating proof of injury. Biggs v. Vil. of Dupo, 892 F.2d 1298 (7th Cir. 1990).
     Terminated police officer gets $60,000 compensatory and $100,000 punitive damages for wrongful termination. City claimed officer's injury was not duty-incurred. Gagliano v. Baltimore Co. Police Dept., Cir. Ct. #86-CG-3083 (1989).
     Jury awards $120,000 in punitive damages against chief and other ex-officers also obtain $130,136 in back pay. They were forced to resign during an internal affairs investigation. [Thomas P.] Murphy [et al] v. Kleinknecht, U.S. Dist. Ct. (E.D. Mo. 10/30/89). [Affirmed, see above]
     National Conference of Cmsnrs. on Uniform State Laws drafts proposed [Wrongful] Employment Termination Act; gives job protections to untenured employees after one year of service. "Uniform Employment Termination Act," Nat. Conf. of Cmsnrs. on Unif. St. Laws, [49] IER Manual (BNA) 540:51 (1989 Draft).
     Woman who was fired after complaining of low pay scales settles her retaliatory discharge suit for $75,000. Faarthing v. Port of Vancouver, U.S.D.C. #C87-545-TB, 32 ATLA L. Rep. 324 (W.D. Wash. 1989).
     Deputy sheriff obtains $109,000 verdict for emotional distress; transferred from tenured to exempt position, then terminated. Krauss v. Town of Davie and City of Hacienda Village, Broward Co. Cir. Ct. #86-4056-CU (Jan. 1989).
     Police chief not liable for infliction of mental distress for failure to reinstate a lieutenant after all criminal charges were dropped. Hill v. City of Kinston, 374 S.E.2d 425 (N.C. App. 1988).
     Federal appeals court affirms $50,000 in damages for emotional distress awarded to a former police officer who was fired for arresting the mayor. 4 Restatement of Torts, 2d Sec. 905. Peeler v. Vil. of Kingston Mines, 862 F.2d 135 (7th Cir. 1988).
     British courts do not follow the U.S. pattern and usually rule against reinstated police officers who have sought damages for anxiety and loss of reputation. Calvely v. Chief Constable of Merseyside [Liverpool]; Park v. Chief Constable of Manchester; Worrall v. Chief Constable of Merseyside, 97 Police Review (London) 591 (24 March 1989).
     California supreme court severely restricts right of discharged employee to sue employer for tortious discharge; punitive damages disallowed in most termination cases. Foley v. Interactive Data Corp., 47 Cal.3d 654, 765 P.2d 373 (Cal. 1988).
     Supreme Court limits governmental liability in discharge and discipline cases; decisions by department heads are not always indicative of governmental "policy" for civil rights purpose. City of St. Louis v. Praprotnik, 108 S.Ct. 915 (1988).
     Employer that induced captain to quit his civil service job and take private position could not later terminate him without just cause; oral promise of a permanent job was enforceable. Romack v. Public Service Co., 511 N.E.2d 1024 (Ind. 1987).
     County jailer could not circumvent county grievance procedure by requiring deputy to sign waiver of employment rights form. Said v. Lackey, 731 S.W.2d 7 (Ky. App. 1987).
     Jury must consider duty of terminated employee to find alternative work; employer may call expert witnesses. Cassino v. Reichhold, 817 F.2d 1338 (9th Cir. 1987).
     Federal court upholds default judgment of $427,142 in compensatory and $200,000 in punitive damages for wrongful discharge. Coleman v. Frierson, 607 F.Supp. 1566 (N.D. Ill. 1985).
     Federal jury awards $1,272,000 against city for "due process" violations at police disciplinary board. Melton v. City of Oklahoma City, U.S. Dist. Ct. (D. Okla. 1985).
     Mayor could remove chief without "cause" or a hearing; city council could not object to or block removal. Carlson v. Bratton, 681 P.2d 1333 (Wyo. 1984).
     Captain, harassed into retiring by grudging city attorney, obtains $388,000 verdict, appeals court affirms. Parrett v. City of Connersville, 737 F.2d 690 (7th Cir. 1984); See also: Altman v. Hurst, 734 F.2d 1240 (7th Cir. 1984).
     Alaska city settles suit by dismissed chief for $716,000; suit claimed a breach of contract and due process violations. Gniffke v. City of Dillingham, Sup'r Ct. 3rd Dist. #3AN-83-836, 27 ATLA L. Rep. 165 (Alaska 1984).
     Supreme Court holds that a chief is not liable in damages for discharge of subordinate, unless the employee's constitutional or statutory rights were clearly established. Davis v. Scherer, 104 S.Ct. 3012 (1984).
     Federal appeals court upholds termination of deputy sheriff who refused to drop charges against the sheriff's political supporter. $75,000 punitive damage award set aside. Berry v. Bailey, 726 F.2d 670 (11th Cir. 1984).
     Former officer terminated for threatening youth with loaded gun, awarded $350,000 compensatory and $120,000 in punitive damages against chief and captain. William Frazier v. City of Alameda, Alameda Co. Super. Ct. (1984).
     Sex scandal ex-cop gets $12,500 for due process violations. Suspension overturned for disparate punishment. Carino v. Courtney et al, U.S. District Court (D. Conn. 1984).
     Reinstated police officer gets backpay and $150,000 damages for civil rights violation in separate actions. Punton v. Seattle Public Safety Cmsn., 32 Wn App. 959 (1982); Punton v. City of Seattle, Civ. #C82-397C, U.S. Dist. Ct. (W.D. Wash. 1983).
     Abusive manner of termination inflicted "emotional distress" on employee" jury awards $25,000 compensatory, $10,000 punitive damages. Hernandez v. Diplomat Parking Corp. Superior Court #1361-81, 27 ATLA L. Rep. 176 (D.C. 1983).
     Justice department indicts sheriff who purportedly fired an employee for testifying against him in an earlier trial. U.S. v. Ramon Garza, U.S. Dist. Ct., Del Rio, Texas.
     Fire dept. could no discharge firefighter for assisting another person in making a discrimination complaint. Harmony V.F.C. v. Cmwlth. of Penns., 459 A.2d 439 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1983).
     Wrongfully terminated untenured employee recovers record verdict of $4.5 million in punitive damages over early discharge. Liability predicated on breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Norton v. Kaiser Steel Corp., Super. Ct. San Bernardino Co. Cal. #202088, 25 ATLA L. Rep. 450 (1982).
     Fired without hearing or charges, contractual public employee entitled to $20,000 in emotional distress damages in addition to back pay. Laje v. R.E. Thomason General Hospital, 665 F.2d 724 (5th Cir. 1982).
     Paramedic receives $60,000 in damages over termination; physician sent libelous letter causing his dismissal. Strama v. Baker, Cook Co. Cir. Ct., Chgo. D. Law Bull. 3 (4/5/82).
     Appellate court allows damage suit by former untenured employee who was fired for reporting to his superiors an apparent violation of criminal law. Petrik v. Monarch Printing Corp., 111 Ill.App.3d 502, 444 N.E.2d 588 (1982).
     Fired assistant chief recovers $288,485 in damages and $48,010 in legal costs for wrongful discharge. Miller v. City of Mission, Kan., 516 F.Supp. 1333 (D. Kan. 1981).
     Federal appeals court affirms punitive damage award against ex-mayor for wrongful discharge of police officer. Busche v. Burkee, 649 F.2d 509 (7th Cir. 1981). At the trial level, the ex-mayor was ordered to pay $10,000 compensatory and $2,000 punitive damages plus attorney's fee to officer, who was fired without a pretermination hearing. Busche v. Burkee, 474 F.Supp. 484 (E.D. Wis. 1979).
     California Supreme Court allows tort suit by former at-will employees who prove they were dismissed for failure to commit acts contrary to public policy or in violation of law. Tameny v. Atlantic Richfield Co., 27 Cal.3d 167, 610 P.2d 1330, 164 Cal.Rptr. 839 (1980).
     Supreme court lets stand a $175,000 award to worker against union for "emotional distress" in refusing to arbitrate his termination. Sherrod v. Chauffeurs, Teamsters and Helpers, etc. (Cal.App. 1979); cert. den. 100 S.Ct. 1024 (1980).
     Wrongful discharge of police officer results in civil rights verdict for just under a million dollars; court affirms verdict but reduces damages to $367,444. Bessen v. Lock, Civil #A-76-CA-217, Bexar Co., Tex. (Dec. 1980).
     Whistle-blowing lieutenant entitled to $20,750 in compensatory and $28,000 in punitive damages against superiors who terminated him. Williams v. Bd. of Regents of Univ. of Georgia, 629 F.2d 3740 (5th Cir. 1980).
     Federal court jury awards fired deputy $35,000 for wrongful termination; sheriff and county jointly liable. Donaldson v. Purvis, U.S. Dist. Ct., So. Dist. of Ala. (1980).
     Supreme Court affirms right of wrongfully terminated public employee to sue his superior under federal civil rights act. Gomez v. Toledo, 100 S.Ct. 1920 (1980).
     Federal court awards back pay, attorney's fees, and $20,000 general damages against officials who fired employee for political reasons; anxiety and embarrassment cited. McCormick v. Edwards, 470 F.Supp. 295 (M.D. La. 1979).
     See also: Civil Liability; Disciplinary Hearings; Race Discrimination; Racial Harassment; Sex Discrimination and Wrongful Discharge/Discipline: Damages & Settlements.

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